What Internet Marketers Can Learn from the NFL Debacle

Football is a pretty big deal in many parts of the United States with millions of people glued to their televisions on any given Sunday. The National Football League (NFL) has done a fantastic job of building the sport almost into a religion for many people. The enthusiasm is contagious and the energy is positively electric. However, just as the new season kicked off a few short weeks ago, the league has also been marred with controversy.

Between the stories that have emerged about players Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, coupled with how the league decided to handle those stories, the National Football League has found itself in the middle of a public relations nightmare. The parallels between professional football in America and making money online may not be immediately obvious, but if you want to be a successful Internet entrepreneur, you’ll want to keep a few key lessons in mind.

Do Well By Doing Good


The National Football League is represented by its players and that’s why many teams include “code of conduct” or behavior-based clauses in player contracts. In effect, the players cannot partake in less than savory behavior that could reflect poorly on the team and on the league. At the same time, it’s pretty obvious that the primary goal is to make as much money as possible. Sponsorship is a really big deal.

That’s why it became quite the news story when we learned NFL Commissioner had reportedly already seen the Ray Rice video (above) and didn’t really do anything about it. The league led that behavior slide, until sponsors started threatening to pull their support. All of a sudden, league officials were dishing out suspensions and more directly addressing the issues. The public image of the league has been negatively impacted.

As an Internet marketer, your primary goal may also be to maximize your profits, but are you willing to sacrifice your morals and ethics to accomplish that goal? A notion that I discussed a few years ago is that, when going into business, it can be profitable to be ethical. You don’t have to be a bad guy to rake in the big bucks. You can do well, as it were, by doing good.

Your Reputation Matters


Making money on the Internet is pretty great. It empowers you to work when and where you want. You can transcend the traditional system of trading hours for dollars, establishing systems that make money for you even as you sleep. That’s all great.

The National Football League is positively huge and it can be incredibly profitable for all the people involved, from league management to the players themselves. However, all it takes is one false step, one negative story to have that whole house of cards come crashing down for you. Even if you have a multi-million dollar contract, you can lose that and be penniless tomorrow. We see it all the time with professional athletes and it can happen just as easily–on a smaller scale–for the home-based entrepreneur too.

To say that John Chow has a personality would be a severe understatement. He can be loud, he can be blunt and he can bend some of the conventional rules, but he has also earned the respect of the “make money online” community.